In our previous guide, “Staying Safe on Social Media” we talked about how to use it in such a way that you have fun, stay safe and maintain a great online reputation. In this guide we are going to talk about the dangers that exist on social media from criminals looking to steal. What do they steal? In the words of Forbes magazine “Personal information is today’s currency”.
Here are the main scams that are found on social media:
The perfect buddy/catfishing – Scammers often use fake social media profiles to win hearts and minds, these fake friends want your cash or failing that your personal data. Be wary
Special Offer/Prize – The major social media platforms are full of special prizes and competitions which are just another way of getting your personal data or a chance to download nasty malware on to your device
Quizzes and Polls – “Spot the celebrity from their school photo…” Innocent looking bits of fun giving developers access to your profile information etc. etc.
Clickbait – “Unseen photos of Trump and Putin singing Karaoke” may be weird enough to get a click and take you to a fake login page where you can give away your login details……
Account Blocked/Cancelled Scam – Again just another attempt to get you to share your login details with the wrong people
Emergency abroad Scam – Oh no, message from your friend who has had an accident and needs some money for……. The only accident that your friend has suffered is the compromising of their account which allows a fraudster to send a message from their account
“OMG have you seen this photo of you?” – Just click on the link, fill in your username and password and the fraudsters win again!
All these scams share the key ingredients of something to grab your attention, a seemingly legitimate reason to put in your personal information and a desperation for you to click or respond. The more discerning we all are on what we engage with on social media the safer we become. There are also other important risks to social media including cyber-bullying, mental health issues to name but a few, which are all very real but are beyond the scope of today’s guide. Please enjoy your social media happily and safely.